Sunday, April 27, 2014

An inspiring story of a medical student interested in Nephrology

A recent study in CJASN 2014 aimed to determine the association of body mass index (BMI) with access to kidney transplantation in men and women.  While the study highlighted some very important points, we should notice that the second author on the manuscript is a medical student. Her name is Elizabeth Hendren from University of British Columbia, MD Candidate, Class of 2015

I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

“What was your role in the project that has the current manuscript in CJASN?

Elizabeth: “For this study I performed the background literature review, helped the statisticians with the data analysis and then presented the data at the American Transplant Congress in 2013 - providing feedback from that session into the final abstract.”

How did the ASN grant help you with this study and in general regarding research opportunities?

Elizabeth: “The ASN grant actually helped with two summer's worth of research.  I worked with  Howard Yan who was a 2012 recipient on a biopsy project and he was the one who let me know about the grant. I then applied in 2013 to work on an exciting survey idea for living donors and their willingness to enter the paired exchange.  I actually was a clinical trials coordinator for the same research group before medical school, but this project funding was my first foray into planning my own research project from the start.”

Are you interested in pursuing a career in Nephrology?

Elizabeth: “At this point I am planning on Internal medicine, and probably Nephrology.  I'm trying to keep my options open within Internal Medicine at this point. Nephrology excites me in particular because of the amazing mentorship.  In particular, I remember meeting Dr. Segev and Dr. Ratner at ATC 2013.  I had read countless papers by these two authors and to have them talk to me and talk about their research was so inspiring! I felt like I was talking to celebrities.

Locally, I've also had great mentorship through Drs. John and Jag Gill but also through allof our staff nephrologists and many of the residents.  I am so happy to go to our research office at the end of a long day and know I will always leave with more knowledge than when I entered.  Luckily, I also love the physiology, the biochemistry and immunology that build the fundamentals of Nephrology.”

Thanks Elizabeth for being so passionate about what you do and continue on this passion in whatever career path you take.

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